Class Highlight - American Correctional System

Class Highlight - American Correctional System

What class?

American Correctional System

Why is it cool?

Whether it’s police brutality or a drug offense, it’s hard to turn on the television today without seeing a news report related to some type of crime. How those crimes are dealt with is ever changing in the field of corrections.

In recent years, the criminal justice system has shifted its focus away from retribution and more toward rehabilitation. Legislation at both the federal and state level has also paved the way for courts to consider reducing sentences for some drug-related crimes.

Do these changes lower crime rates and make our cities safer? How do policymakers, administrators and line-level practitioners tackle the challenges and meet the goals they’re presented with in such a complex and complicated field?

American Correctional System is cool because it delves into the field of corrections from its early American roots to the present. The class presents students with an overview of corrections, where it came from and how it’s managed today.

Discussions will cover the role and function of jails, traditional and modern correctional facilities, private and contract corrections institutions, and probation and parole. Students will review significant court cases and their influence on the criminal justice system, and discuss the current climate of the United States prison system.

Through study of Mark Fleisher’s book “Beggars & Thieves: Lives of Urban Street Criminals,” students will get a clear picture of why people become and remain offenders and what solutions might actually work to change their paths and create safer cities.

Students will be able to use this knowledge to effectively communicate various trends in the criminal justice system, the pertinent issues addressed in “Beggars & Thieves” and the role and importance of the death penalty.

Talk to your advisor to see if this class might be right for you, or see what else is offered by the College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

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Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.